Momentum Podcast: 229

Protecting Yourself Through Growth With Giovanni Marsico

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

So few of us are conscious of the fact that we are our own biggest bottleneck. You have to figure out a way to grow your business without increasing the pain on yourself. Protect your energy, surround yourself with people who charge your batteries and don’t drain them. Today I’m talking with a client and good friend of mine, Giovanni Marsico. We discuss how he has protected himself through the growth of his company.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, shock takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum. So we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it.

We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop. And we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we enter the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be. Protecting yourself through growth.

One of the most incredible things I get to do these days is work with, coach and watch game changing, world changing entrepreneurs grow the most incredibly unique businesses. And today I have the privilege of sitting down with one of our new clients, but a friend of mine for a while, who may be one of the most unique entrepreneurs out there. He runs a company called Arc Angel, which I even say in our interview that it's so hard to explain what he does, but when you hear it, I know you're going to be inspired. And I think you'll find it interesting why his team gave him a standing ovation and why his business model is pretty much ripping off X-men.

I think you're going to enjoy this interview with a brand new client. This is a different view. This is Giovanni getting started in our program. You're going to understand why he's here, what challenges he's dealing with. And then, when we come back in a few months, we'll see how much he's been able to overcome, grow and move towards. I think you're going to enjoy this interview, or listening to this interview as much as I enjoyed speaking with my friend, Gio.

Hey everyone, today I am really excited to have a special guest with me, a friend of mine, Giovanni [Maresiko 00:02:37] who runs Arc Angels. And I have very limited time. I think we all do. And in today's day and age, if you wanted to go to an event or a festival or a mastermind, or a meeting of some kind, I'm pretty sure you could go 365 days a year. And so when you look at the ecosystem of what is offered out there, it's overwhelming. And for me, I've chosen to invest in very few, but very deliberate masterminds and events and organizations and communities. And what I always tell people is, I invest in communities where when I look at the leader, I want to become more like that individual. When I look at the leader, I'm okay with taking on the characteristics of that individual.

And when I look at the leader, that's someone who I'm comfortable with, and I have a goal of emulating in my life. And one of the reasons that I'm not only a member of Arc Angel, but I'm also on the Arc Angel leadership council is I have a very high level of belief in Giovanni. Welcome brother

. Giovanni: Wow, what an intro. Thank you, Alex. I love you too.

Alex: Yeah, well you know man, we've known each other for a long time. And in all the time I've known you, what I've seen is this obsessive consistency in you say something, you do it. You make a huge claim, and everybody goes, what is he talking about? And then you deliver it. And you're one of those people, I remember when you first came out with the original Arc Angel event. I'm like, who is this guy and how did he do that? And then when I got to spend some time with you it was obvious. You are one of those ridiculously magnetic human beings that when you share an idea with somebody it's almost instantly contagious.

Giovanni: Thank you.

Alex: Yeah, my pleasure man. So can you, for everyone listening, can you just give the two minute summary of what is Arc Angel and why is it important?

Giovanni: Sure, so I used to ... I really love using the analogy of the X-men because I've completely ripped off their model. So Arc Angel is a tribe, is a community of visionary and superhero entrepreneurs who want to build a business around sharing their superpower to make the world a better place, and create positive impact. And like the X-men, they're sort of and ascension model based on where you're at on your path. But there's the Arc Angel masters who are like the X-men. The top level superheros who are at the top of their game sharing and creating exponential impact.

And then there's a larger community, which is Arc Angel Academy our online school. And Arc Angel Summit, which is our huge event in Toronto where it's like the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters where the X-men get to teach, or share their wisdom with the rest of the tribe so that we all grow together and create exponential impact.

Alex: Yeah. Gio, man I remember when I first heard you talk about this. I'm like, oh, what a kindred spirit because I think that you and I both see in the entrepreneurial world that the things that make us look so challenged, the things that make us look so broken in normal society, and as entrepreneurs that is your superpower.

Giovanni: Right.

Alex: Go ahead, sorry.

Giovanni: Your gift is next to your wound. It's like the thing that you were ... The thing that makes you stand out or that made you stand out when you were a kid is probably the thing that you should take a stand for and build everything around it.

Alex: Yeah, Gio, you just triggered something for me. I'll share it really quick. When I was a kid, I was one of those kids that in school, I would have this thought like, oh man I'm going to say something. And I would be thinking, don't say it. Don't say it. Do not say it. And then I would hear myself saying it. And I'm like, oh God. And mayhem would ensue. I'd insult the teacher, I'd say the wrong thing or I'd contradict somebody. And when I was 21 years old I became a consultant. And in one of my first meetings with a multinational, I had that same thing happen. My head's like, don't say it. Don't say it, don't say it. And then I heard myself saying it.

And the VP of finance was like, hey he's got a point. And I thought, holy crap, what just happened? That same pattern played in my head, and suddenly it worked. And what was so bizarre was as a kid, that compulsion I had to be transparent to say what was going on. To tell people what was really happening for me as a consultant was really my superpower. So it's like, it's so clear when you're older, but when you're younger, when somebody says the meek shall inherit the Earth, you just feel meek. It's hard to have that leap of faith that it'll actually happen.

Giovanni: Right.

Alex: So it's incredible that you have this organization that's just dedicated to that, Gio.

Giovanni: It started with me being, or having clarity around who I am and what my gifts are. And a lot of that took external feedback because for a lot of people it's hard to identify the thing you think if probably normal. And everyone is the same as you, right? But really, it's something extraordinary about you that you can build your career or business around

. Alex: Yeah.

Giovanni: And then thinking not in terms of scaling a business or the financials of it, but more about focused on mission and creating a movement. And then creating the story around all of that.

Alex: Yeah.

Giovanni: For us, money follows mission

. Alex: Yeah, no question. For most of the great companies in the history of the world, money follows mission. That's why we drive all of our clients by a client-centric mission. And that brings up why we jumped on, Gio. You've recently joined our mastermind. It was funny, I remember within about three days, we joined yours, you joined our. I'm like, wow, that was kind of nice. And it wasn't like ... It was weird, I thought about it afterwards, I'm like, man we could've just had some trade or exchange but the fact is that I really wanted to buy yours, you really wanted to buy into ours. And so that's what we ended up doing.

Give me an idea of why you joined the mastermind because from all intents and purposes, outside you're successful. You are doing very well. Why is it that you joined the mastermind?

Giovanni: Well, I think it's being smart enough to understand that I don't know what I don't know. And when you shared your [inaudible 00:08:52] code, that sequence of hitting all those milestones, I know that what got me to where I am is probably going to hurt me moving forward. And as I scaled the team, part of my magic is dreaming big. And having almost an impossible dream and then reverse engineering it saying, okay, here's how we're going to do this. And for me, that doesn't scare me at all. But for my team, that's probably scary. I was about to swear, sorry.

Alex: You can.

Giovanni: Alright, scary shit is like, what is this guy doing? So I need to better understand how to lead and how to build the culture and how to grow the team. And constantly scale because of how big I dream.

Alex: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, so you're conscious of the fact that if you're going to have big dreams, you better have the infrastructure to support them.

Giovanni: Right.

Alex: So many entrepreneurs aren't. They think that they can market their way out of the problem, or sell their way out of the problem or find some other solution. You've tried those, haven't you?

Giovanni: Yes I have.

Alex: You want to share how that worked? Because you know what? Here's what happening right now, Gio, somebody's listening to us and they're like, I can just sell my way out of the problem. Or I'll create another funnel, or I'll do something. I don't need to do all the structure and systems and processes. But the fact is, if your dream's important enough, you really do, don't you?

Giovanni: Right, yeah. And at least a burnout, right? For me, it's more about subtraction and how do I continue to grow everything where it doesn't devour me? And I can build systems and structure around everything so that my teams feel the same way.

Alex: Yeah. Well yeah because here's something that so few of us are conscious of, but you are, which is one of the reason why I think you and I get along so well is that for most entrepreneurs, they don't realize that they are the biggest bottleneck. And that if ... And here's the realization that takes us forever to come to, is that our business, if growing our business increases our pain, we won't. And whenever entrepreneurs tell me, I'm plateaued, I'm stuck. I can't ... Well all I do is look at their model and I'm like, well there's an easy solution here. The more you sell, the more pain you're going to experience. And so if you sell more, it's going to hurt you.

Real estate agents, the more you sell, the more work you have. Financial advisors, the more you sell, the more meetings you have. So you have to figure out a way to grow that without increasing pain on yourself. And Gio, you had kind of a funny anecdote. When you told your team that you were going to create processes, what happened?

Giovanni: Standing ovation at my team meeting. Literally, I'm not even joking.

Alex: And what was it that you told them that got the standing ovation? I love this story.

Giovanni: Yeah, well I said that we've hired you and your team to help us scale and build models and systems around the scale and growth of what we're doing.

Alex: And they stood up?

Giovanni: Yeah, totally.

Alex: It's funny because I think a lot of people would think they probably stood up because the systems and processes were so bad before. Here's what I really believe. I think that, because I've met so much of your team. When I talk about hiring true believers, you have true believers at a different level. There's almost a dogmatic belief system, isn't there, from your team?

Giovanni: Totally. And part of the secret there, I don't think I've ever told you this. Every single one of my team members was hired from the tribe. So it was someone who's been a part of the community already. And just happened to have the skillset or the superpower that was what we were looking for.

Alex: Yeah. So tell us about that, Gio. For the people who are listening because I talk about this all the time. One of the things I tell people is if you hire true believers, you'll never have to motivate them if you hire anybody else, you'll never be able to motivate them enough. Would you agree with that?

Giovanni: Totally. The way we even interview is we have a culture fit interview first based on core value alignment. And I'm sure you're going to teach me even ... So if the answers to those questions don't fit, and they're not aligned, I won't even ... I don't even care about their skillset because I want to make sure that they're completely aligned to who we are, who we are as a team that they gel with the team. And that they're aligned with the values.

Alex: Gio, in hiring true believers like that, doesn't it create a higher level of responsibility on you as the CEO to actually show up in the right way for the team?

Giovanni: Yes.

Alex: Do you feel the pressure of the team pushing you to be better?

Giovanni: Everyday.

Alex: Yeah. Yeah, that's something that I talk about. I ask CEO's, do you feel like your team's pushing you to be a better CEO? And if they say no, I feel bad for them because isn't part of who you are today, the motivation of your team?

Giovanni: 100%, and it's not just to be a better leader or CEO, it's to be a better version of me in general.

Alex: Yeah. To show up for them.

Giovanni: Right.

Alex: So give us an idea Gio, I want to in the next year we're going to be working together. And I want to come back and do a few of these podcasts because how long ago did you start Arc Angel? It's not ...

Giovanni: 2014.

Alex: 2014, so we're in the fourth year. And just so people have perspective, what are some of the people you've had speak? What are some of the events? Like the event that you do, the large event each year, how many people attend?

Giovanni: So it's Arc Angel Summit in September in Toronto. The first year was 2016, we had 1500. Last year we did close to 3000. And the goal this year is 4000.

Alex: So there's just exponential growth.

Giovanni: Yeah.

Alex: And what type of speakers do you get at these summits, Gio?

Giovanni: Gary [Venercheck 00:14:42]. Seth [Godin 00:14:42], Robin [Sharma 00:14:43], Simon [Sineck 00:14:44], Gretchen [Rubin 00:14:46], Dr. [Shivaldi 00:14:46], JJ Virgin. And this year we have [Brennon Brushard 00:14:51] lined up. Arlene Dickinson who's for the non-Canadians, she's on Dragon's Den, which is our equivalent of Shark's Tank. She's massive in Canada. Sally [Hogshead 00:15:06], JP Sears is MC-ing, he's hilarious. And we have a few other people to announce soon that'll blow people away.

Alex: So if anyone's listening and they want to be able to check this out, because by the way, every speaker you just named, I know exactly who they are. Sally's a good friend. I can't wait. I will be there in September as an audience member. If somebody wants to check it out and be able to understand and go Gio, where should they go?


Alex: Perfect. Okay, cool., check it out. And you haven't mentioned them, but I know there's at least one or two more surprise speakers that people should be keeping an eye out for.

Giovanni: Yes. The type of people that have half a million followers on social. And really the clue I will give is that they're all these sort of bio hacking, health optimization kind of space because we believe that to be the best business leader or entrepreneur, you have to be at the top of your game when it comes to health optimization. And I know that you agree with that.

Alex: Absolutely. Yeah. I'm obsessed with it, yeah. In fact, a couple of the speakers you're talking about are friends of mine, so we'll see if they actually show up. So I'm super psyched about it. So Gio, so that everyone listening, because we're going to do some timestamps here. Tell me what your goal is for the next year in our program. Not dollar volume, but what is it that you want to have change in Arc Angel, and what is it that you have for goals for yourself as a CEO?

Giovanni: For me, it's to ... Right now in terms of my schedule, Stephanie, my partner and I are really adamant about making sure that family time is family time. And that's protected time. And same with date night time for us, and self care. And there's so much pressure now as both of us are scaling our companies to figure out is there going to be a sacrifice somewhere? And we don't want to sacrifice. So for me, that's the most important thing, is to maintaining the rituals we have so that we're not saying, well I can't spend time with the kids tonight because I have to work, or I have to do this. I want to keep this for the rest of our lives so that work time is work time, and family time is family time.

And then there's regular date nights, which we're big on.

Alex: Yeah, so for you, joining the program the key is maintaining who you are personally. Maintaining your life.

Giovanni: Yes.

Alex: Has it always been that type of a goal, Gio? Or is this relatively new for you?

Giovanni: It's been that way for the past two years.

Alex: Prior to that, was that a consideration for you?

Giovanni: No, it was work, work, work.

Alex: Yeah. Yeah, what do you think, what was the change that brought on, I want to go from just being the person who's all one dimensional work, to actually caring about this other side of life?

Giovanni: So Stephanie was one of the biggest catalysts because her expertise and wisdom is on the health optimization side. She helped me transform physically first, but also mentally and psychologically and chemically. Eating better, taking care of myself and realizing that it's not just food and exercise. It's self care and sleep and playtime, right? So we often have play dates, the two of us. We'll go to amusement parks together, or go carting, whatever that looks like.

Alex: Yeah, and you guys are a little nutty. Stephanie will just act into character all night. And you guys ... It's interesting, you guys aren't just childlike, sometimes you're childish, but who gives ... That's who you are.

Giovanni: Right. And that's when the best of us both come out, when the little kids come out to play.

Alex: Yeah, that's my favorite time to be around you guys. So Gio, on our next, the next time we check in, here's what we're going to check in on. We want to see, have you maintained your personal schedule? Are you growing the business? Do you feel like you have that committed family time? Because I know that most of the people listening to my podcast feel the same way. They're looking to be wildly successful business people, but they don't want to be a one dimensional, I just have a business and it's the only thing I care about in the world.

So I'm excited for us to continue this conversation and these interviews throughout the year so you can share with people whether you can really do that or not. And grow a massive business.

Giovanni: Right, thank you. I can't wait.

Alex: Same here. So real quick question for you, and this is just because I know you. Would you say you're an introvert, Gio?

Giovanni: Yes.

Alex: On a scale of one to 10, 10 being super hyper-introverted, one being not so much, where would you say you stand?

Giovanni: Probably around a seven or eight. I'm not even sure if this has to do with introversion, but I can be on stage in front of thousands of people and not be nervous at all. And I'm completely in my element and I'm in the zone. But at the end of my event, I need bodyguards to protect me. I need to be in a bat cave.

Alex: Yeah.

Giovanni: It's not a 10, but it's up there.

Alex: It's up there. Yeah, I'm the exact same way. The reason I ask is, so many of the people listening are introverts. And they wonder can I really lead a team? Can I be the person who does that over and over again? Is it going to drain me? Is it going to be able to contribute to my life in any way? Or is it going to be that thing that I always feel like deep breath, I can make it through this? And what I'd like to explore with you over the course of the year is that process for an introvert because I too, I think I'm probably an eight or a nine. Seven or eight, eight, nine, I usually describe it to people this way, I am incredibly comfortable in front of 4000 people on stage, but if 20 walk up to me afterwards, I'm having a panic attack and sweating into my pants.

And I don't know what to say, and I feel awkward and weird and uncomfortable. And I think that's kind of part of the introvert dilemma is that you often appear not introverted. And so people don't expect you to be that way, but you are. And so I'm really, for me, I'm excited to watch you put this process in place for someone who thinks like me, who has the same tendencies I do, and see if it works for you. So this is going to be interesting.

Giovanni: I have an awesome story about this for you. Last year Simon [Syneck 00:21:36] spoke at our event, and there was a Q&A. And someone asked him about introvert, extrovert. And this was his analogy, which blew me away, but I have something to add to it that will help you. So he says that an introvert starts the day with five energy coins or whatever the number is. And every time you interact with another human you give up a coin. You pay them.

So that by the end of the day you have zero coins. An extrovert starts the day with zero coins, but every interaction they take a coin. So by the end of the day they're full of energy. And I was like, that's brilliant. And for me, as an introvert, the way to have more coins is to surround yourself with superchargers. People who charge your battery. So when I'm around you, I maybe an introvert, but we can geek out for hours and I'll feel energized at the end of it.

Alex: Yeah. Giovanni: It's about protecting your energy and surrounding yourself with people who charge your batteries and don't drain them.

Alex: Yeah. That's awesome. Oh I love that. So here's the other thing we'll check in on next time you're here. Since you're coming to our event, I want you to also share, what was it like to be in a room where there's a hand-curated group of million dollar plus CEO's for your membership? Because here's what I can tell you, when I went to Arc Angel, I'm an introvert. When I go to most events I sit in the back of the room because I want to be able to escape quickly when there's time to talk to everybody. And I don't really like to be part of the social stuff. But when I was at Arc Angel I felt completely at home. We signed a couple clients. I had incredible conversations and I want to see if I've curated the same type of room for you.

Giovanni: Amazing, I love that.

Alex: Awesome. Well brother, we started with it, and I'm going to end with it. I love you and Stephanie. I want to thank you for being in my program. Thank you for being part of my life for creating Arc Angel. And I'm excited about coming back and doing this again.

Giovanni: Yes please. I can't wait, man. This is so much fun.

Alex: Awesome. Thanks brother. It's pretty incredible that today my business is getting to hang out with guys like Giovanni who see the world the way he does. And has the amount of alignment with me that he does. And it's like I have a family in California that I grew up with, but I'm assembling this family of clients and team members and entrepreneurs who are just like me. And I get a little emotional because so much of what Giovanni says is so much of how I think that I never thought there would be another person out there who had the same way of looking at who we are that I do.

And when I hear him, I hear the confirmation not only of who I am, but what I believe about people like us. If you'd like to know more about people like us, if you'd like to understand the entrepreneurial personality type, the evolutionary hunter to a completely different level, go to Download a copy of my book. It will help you understand yourself better, stop limiting behavior, and create unlimited momentum.

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